noun \vi-ˈkün-yə, vī-; vī-ˈkü-nə, və-, -ˈkyü-\

: a large South American animal that produces wool which is used for clothing

Full Definition of VICUÑA

:  a wild ruminant (Vicugna vicugna syn. Lama vicugna) of the Andes from Peru to Argentina that is related to the llama and alpaca
a :  the wool from the vicuña's fine lustrous undercoat
b :  a fabric made of vicuña wool; also :  a sheep's wool imitation of this

Variants of VICUÑA

vi·cu·ña or vi·cu·na \vi-ˈkün-yə, vī-; vī-ˈkü-nə, və-, -ˈkyü-\

Illustration of VICUÑA

Origin of VICUÑA

Spanish vicuña, from Quechua wik'uña
First Known Use: 1604

Rhymes with VICUÑA


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

South American lamoid (see alpaca), the smallest species (Vicugna vicugna) in the camel family, found in semiarid grasslands of the central Andes at altitudes of 12,000–16,000 ft (3,600–4,800 m). The remarkably long, soft, lustrous coat is cinnamon to white; a dense, silky, white fleece hangs from the flanks and base of the neck. Vicuñas are about 36 in. (90 cm) high and weigh over 100 lbs (50 kg). Small bands of females, led by a male, graze on low grasses, ruminate while at rest, and spit often and noisily. They mark their territory with communal dung heaps. Vicuñas are untamable but have been hunted for centuries; they are now protected as an endangered species.


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